ESG Shares Pax MSCI EAFE ESG Index ETF (EAPS) began trading last Friday (1/28/11) and seeks to track a socially responsible index from MSCI. The underlying index consists of equity securities from companies that have high environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) ratings from MSCI.

Like other EAFE related funds, this benchmark excludes stocks from the U.S., Canada, and emerging markets. Current country weightings include Japan at 23.8%, U.K. 20.3%, Australia 9.2%, France 8.1%, and Switzerland 7.0%.

According to the EAPS overview, the largest holdings are HSBC Holdings 3.7%, Mitsui Fudosan 3.3%, Vodaphone Group 3.0%, Novartis 2.3%, and Roche Holding 2.0%. Sector weightings include Financials 28.4%, Industrials 12.1%, Consumer Staples 11.0%, Consumer Discretionary 10.6%, and Materials 9.9%.

To date, ETF investor acceptance of socially responsible ETFs from Pax is less than stellar. ESG Shares Pax MSCI North America ESG Index (NASI), launched in May last year, is on ETF Deathwatch with less than $3 million in assets and sparse trading activity.

Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.